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Times of India
Kabira, an orphan, is raised in the house of poor Muslim weavers. He's different from the rest of his lot because of his peaceful demeanour, which allows him to question religion and practices.
This film by Indra Babu is based on Bhisham Sahni's play Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein. The film deals with Kabira's philosophies, ideologies and questions to the age-old religious practices, which hold relevant even to this date. The film is beautifully shot, has some lovely tunes and puts forth relevant questions, albeit it unfurls at its own pace. The first half gets off on a jagged note, but the narrative stabilizes as the story progresses.
This film is not for someone who wants entertainment akin to minute noodles. This is a film that you need to watch losing yourself in the visuals, appreciating the words that Kabira wrote that resonate and make sense even today.
Ismail Darbar's music is a big highlight, for the Sufi touch stands out. Though, one wonders if the two romantic numbers and the one Kathak number were really needed to take the narrative forward.
One must hand it to a star like Shivarajkumar to do a film like this, where his character does not have any masala-laden scenes and is, in fact, quite atypical of the usual heroic persona seen onscreen. He comes out with a performance in sync with the narrative. Newbie Sanusha is expressive and does a good job. Prashanth Siddhi deserves a special mention.
This film is not your usual Shivarajkumar film, but for fans of the actor Santheyalli Nintha Kabira allows them to see their star in a new dimension.